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Faith Nyasuguta

Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated his support for an independent Palestinian state and promised increased humanitarian aid for Gaza as he inaugurated a summit with Arab leaders on Thursday in Beijing. 

The summit, attended by heads of state from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Tunisia, among others, focused on China’s expanding trade relations and security issues related to the Israel-Hamas conflict.

“War should not continue indefinitely. Justice should not be absent forever,” Xi stated during his opening speech at the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum. He emphasized the importance of adhering to a two-state solution for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 

Xi announced China’s commitment of 500 million yuan ($69 million) in humanitarian aid for Gaza and an additional $3 million donation to a United Nations agency aiding refugees affected by the Israel-Hamas war.

Both Beijing and the Arab states have voiced strong support for the Palestinians, with China consistently condemning Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. Despite this, China maintains growing economic ties with Israel.

Beyond addressing the current conflict, Xi called for deeper cooperation between China and Arab states in various sectors, including trade, clean energy, space exploration, and healthcare.

Leaders at the Beijing Summit /Arab News/

Recently, Norway, Ireland, and Spain officially recognized a Palestinian state, a decision hailed as a historic and significant step for Palestine. Irish Prime Minister Simon Harris highlighted the coordinated effort with Spain and Norway, marking the recognition as a pivotal moment. 

In the preceding weeks, several other European nations indicated their intentions to recognize a Palestinian state, underscoring the two-state solution as essential for achieving lasting peace in the region.

Meanwhile, the Belgian government deliberated on whether to join the recognition of a Palestinian state. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo stressed the importance of timing for such a move. 

“You can recognize only once. So when we do it, it needs to come at the right moment when it has an immediate impact. I want an impact on two issues. I want an end to violence in Gaza. I want the hostages to be freed,” De Croo told the VRT network. He emphasized, “The right perspective is: will it help the violence stop tomorrow or not?”

Belgium’s decision carries significant diplomatic weight due to its current presidency of the European Union. In contrast, Croatia has decided not to recognize a Palestinian state at this time. Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic reiterated Croatia’s longstanding support for a two-state solution, insisting on a peace agreement that ensures lasting stability. 

According to the official HINA news agency, Croatia’s unique historical context, having emerged from the former Yugoslavia ”which recognized a Palestinian state in 1988 ”shapes its current stance on the issue.

Chinese President /Anadolu Agency/

China’s reaffirmation of support for Palestine, coupled with the recent recognitions by European nations, highlights a growing international dialogue on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the broader quest for peace and stability in the region.


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Faith Nyasuguta

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